Yorkshire Water unveils £13m WTW infrastructure investment
19 Jan 2022
Yorkshire Water says it will invest up to £13 million in its wastewater network and treatment works, in a move which coincides with an expected Environment Agency rating for water quality at an adjacent inland bathing area as ‘poor’.
The utility company says it has been modelling the catchment around the River Wharfe at Ilkley to understand the factors influencing water quality.
Modelling has indicated that during periods of dry weather the main contributors to background bacteria were from agricultural operations, local domestic waste patterns, misconnections and treatment works at Beamsley, Draughton and Grassington.
Further modelling will be carried out to increase available data and improve the understanding of factors influencing water quality in the river.
Enhanced disinfection measures will be applied to the final effluent returned to the environment at Grassington, Draughton and Beamsley treatment works, much like the measures taken on the coast, to reduce the impact on water quality.
Work will also be carried out to investigate misconnections in the catchment and a scheme to reroute the sewer network in some areas of Ilkley will be carried out to reduce discharges from storm overflows.
Ben Roche, director of wastewater at Yorkshire Water, said: “We’re keen to play our part in improving water quality in the River Wharfe following the first Environment Agency classification of the inland bathing water at Ilkley.”
He added that modelling indicated acting upstream of the bathing water, at our treatment works at Grassington, Draughton and Beamsley, will deliver the greatest benefit in terms of improving water quality via our assets. The company is also assessing the pumping station at Addingham and considering green and sustainable solutions.
“We have outlined up to £13 million investment in our network that will help to reduce discharges into the river during prolonged spells of rain and reduce the impact of treated effluent being returned to the environment. This funding is over and above existing investment plans for the current five-year period.”
Work is underway, in collaboration with Bradford Council and the EA to reduce infiltration of surface water into the sewer network from Ilkley Tarn. A smart wastewater network pilot for Ilkley will begin this year to trial using smart monitoring, analytics and control solutions to understand the sewer network from homes to treatment works and, once treated, discharges back into the environment.
Yorkshire Water has also assisted with the citizen science iWharfe project initiative, which identified that, in tributary streams, weather patterns and water flow during the bathing season can combine to generate faecal bacteria in the main river independent of discharges from sewage treatment works and combined sewer overflows.